NYT Copy Desk

May 3rd, 2007  |  Published in etc

G.O.P. Contenders Ponder What to Say About Bush:

It is hardly a coincidence that none of the Republican presidential candidates have appeared in any high-profile public settings with Mr. Bush in recent months.

A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted April 20-24 found that 76 percent of Republicans said they approved of Mr. Bush’s job performance. That was down notably from March 2001, when 94 percent said they approved of his performance.

But the fact that so many rank-and-file Republicans still side with the president suggests the kind of headwind Mr. McCain is flying into when he expresses disapproval of the way the White House responded to Hurricane Katrina, for example, or when he calls for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, or when he questions how the war was executed in Iraq.

Emphasis mine.

I’d like to suggest another interpretation of those polls:

Any arguments I made about the Republican Party being salvageable in the wake of its hijacking by authoritarian loonies were dangerously naive.

What parts of Bush’s performance are those 76 percent approving of?

  • A disastrous war, incompetently executed by political hacks who created a failed state, bred terrorists, then marched us further into the quagmire?

  • The destruction of the DoJ’s credibility as anything other than the RNC’s political attack cadre?

  • Utter and devastating failure in New Orleans?

  • The formulation and execution of flatly un-American policy that holds truths we once found self-evident and universal, as enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and as protected by our Bill of Rights, do not apply to anyone who didn’t enjoy the happy accident of birth on U.S. soil?

76 percent of Republicans approve, evidently, of the attempted ruin of this country at the hands of an incompetent lightweight I’d hesitate to call a “fascist” primarily because it’d grant him too much intellectual heft.

Once I was called to an explosion site. There I saw a four-year-old boy sitting beside his mother’s body, which had been decapitated by the explosion. He was talking to her, asking her what had happened. He had been taken out shopping by his mom.”

— Saad, a young humanitarian worker from Baghdad, quoted in the International Red Cross’s 4/11 report, “Iraq: civilians without protection”

Are 76 percent of them all for that, too? The man they approve of is responsible for that.

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